Warren St. John is a feature writer for The New York Times and best-selling author of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip into the Heart of Fan Mania (2004). His latest book Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town (2009) was released to rave reviews.
In the span of just a decade, Clarkston, Georgia, transformed from a typical small southern town into one of the nation's most diverse communities--a place where children from 50 different countries attend the once all-white local high school. In Outscasts United, St. John explores the impact of this radical change on refugees and townspeople through the story of a Clarkston youth soccer team called the Fugees. The team, coached by a Jordanian-born woman named Luma Mufleh, consists of players from more than 15 different war-torn countries, who, despite their differences and hurdles placed in their way by locals opposed to resettlement, find ways to connect and cohere across broad cultural divides.
Outcasts United focuses not only on the inspiring story of the Fugees but also on the lessons the team and Clarkston provide on the question of how we build community in environments in which people seem to have little in common. St. John discusses the ways in which the fresh perspectives of newcomers allow us to reexamine our own way of life, as well as the role volunteerism can play in building bridges across social chasms.
The author biography and photo are courtesy of Greater Talent Network.
Fugees Family Soccer Video
The New York Times Article
Pictures of Clarkston, Ga., today